The weirdest thing is happening at First Lutheran, Avoca these days—and I am not talking about vacation Bible school! (Which is going great!)
The strange thing is that every so often a car drives through our parking lot, stops in front of the church and then in front of the cemetery… They are trying to ‘catch them all!’ -the theme of Pokémon and Pokémon GO! which uses your phone’s GPS to track players through the real world as they collect more and more Pokémon!
So why are they stopping by God’s church up on this hill? –Well, First Lutheran Avoca is a PokéStop; and Northbranch Cemetery is a Gym! Pokémon players come to the PokéStop to get items that they need in the game, and they head to the gym to try out their Pokémon against other players. Some will come multiple times a day. No joke. I could go into the inner workings of the games, but Google will let you know the benefits of owning a PokéGym or sitting under a PokéStop!
Now – as strange as this may sound to you, it also means there are people, who might have never before drove up to our church who are now driving up to our church – some multiple times a day!
How we treat them, and greet them is a sign of God’s love to us! Invite them in to use the bathroom or to cool off in the A/C -or- maybe just say hello and ask them their level. Most people that are playing Pokémon are young adults (including your pastor.) And some folks may even have a distrust of the church or know nothing about the love of God. Share that with them!
It may be strange, but this game gives us as a church another way to proclaim God’s love and grace to people who otherwise would never come here! Say ‘hey’ and echo God’s grace in all that you do!
(Also, for Pokemon players – considering posting a lure Sundays around 9:30am starting the 24th…Would this help anyone?)